For a topic,
would you mind if I spoke about sound in relation to art-historical studies,
instead of the more natural topic, that is, visual culture and visual
perception? I am currently working on a book project that is about
iconoclasm, and that tries to locate the destruction of works of art (public
monuments, for the most part) within urban landscapes that are at once
ritualized, processual, and affective. This has led to my delving into
questions of how everyday people in late colonial New York (when/where these
acts of iconoclasm occurred, for the most part) mobilized sound -- both actual
and imaginative (such as the imagined speeches of marble statues and other
kinds of monuments) -- to organize political landscapes. I've been
particularly interested in how such rituals of sound helped to create the very
conditions for political iconoclasm during the outset of the American
Revolution. Another way of putting this is simply to ask: what does
iconoclasm sound like?
Bellion is Associate Professor of art history at the University of
Delaware. She is the author of Citizen Spectator: Art, Illusion,
and Visual Perception in Early National America, which was awarded the 2014 Charles Eldredge
Prize in Outstanding Scholarship by the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
She has lectured and published widely on the art of the British Atlantic world
and early modern Americas. Her current book project, What Statues
Remember, explores iconoclasm, reenactment, and historical memory in New
Reception to follow.